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Why Collagen?

Why Collagen?

You know the feeling of laying in bed at night and being so excited for whatever is happening the next day (maybe your best friend's wedding, your birthday, the first day on the job, or the day you get to take your adopted puppy home) that you have trouble falling asleep? This type of excitement is almost identical to how I feel about my morning Matcha Lattes. (HA!) I'm so serious.

There is something about early mornings and their tranquility that make me feel whole. Whether I'm waking up at 5:45am or 10am, you can bet that I'm really excited for whatever that morning will bring, and I know it's going to include a creamy Matcha Latte.

Matcha Latte
1 teaspoon premium or ceremonial grade Matcha
1 full scoop collagen peptides
2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil or coconut butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened raw almond milk
1 1/2-2 cups of *almost-boiling* water

I blend it all together and pour it into a giant mug of choice and enjoy each sip. 

Sometimes, my favorite mugs are dirty and I have to makeshift. This is a tough predicament, because I'm very particular about which mug I will choose when my favorites are not available (yes, I could just wash one of my favorites by hand, but hear me out). One day, I might sip out of a white, floral ceramic mug that I grew up drinking hot chocolate out of, and another day I grab the mug with an animated picture of sushi on it that my brother brought back from Japan. Life is dynamic. You can never have too many mugs. Stock up on your favorites.

When reading the ingredients in my latte, you might wonder what exactly collagen peptides are and why I would be adding them to my beverages...

When I started following who are now my favorite bloggers and professional recipe developers, I noticed that a few of them were adding collagen to some of their beverages for added nutrients. They also mentioned the creaminess and added texture that it gave to their lattes and smoothies. Being an inspired, curious 22-year-old, I had to explore the collagen hype for myself.

What is collagen?

Derived from the Greek word kólla, which means glue, collagen is said to be the most abundant protein in the human body. It literally holds the body together via the strength and structure that it provides to bones, muscles, skin, tendons and joints. It's what helps prevent aging, builds our gut lining, keeps our skin glowing and our bodies comfortably moving.

When we are young, collagen production is consistent and plentiful. When we start to get older though, collagen production starts to decline. Typically, this is around age 40. Hence wrinkles, digestive issues, arthritis, aches and pains. Additionally, excess sugar and refined carbohydrates in a person's diet, too much exposure to sunlight and smoking can all affect collagen production.

Why take collagen as a nutrient supplement?

Collagen peptides, or short-chain amino acids that are derived from collagen protein, easily dissolve into water, tea and coffee; and the peptides don't gel, like gelatin would, which is protein derived from collagen that gels when mixed with water (hellllloooo jello). 

When collagen is mixed into a morning latte or tea, it doesn't create a thickness, but rather a gentle creaminess that is necessary (in my opinion) for an awesome morning drink. 

Collagen peptides can help reverse and slow down stiffening and swelling of joints and muscles. If you love to workout, collagen might help the soreness and achiness that come along with strenuous exercise sometimes. It helps strengthen nails and hair too. #woo

Ingesting collagen can increase skin elasticity and moisture. In a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 114 women, aged 45-65, received a placebo or collagen supplement once daily for 8 weeks. The women who ingested collagen instead of the placebo saw a significant reduction in wrinkles around the eyes. Alongside this study, collagen can also help our skin glow and get rid of cellulite.

Additionally, collagen can play a role in our digestive health. Collagen peptides are high in glycine, which improves digestive health in a variety of ways. Glycine is an amino acid that helps transport and break down glycogen (sugar) and fat. Glycine also thickens the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep good bacteria and nutrients in the gut where they belong. Lastly, glycine helps stimulate production of stomach acids. Healthy gut = healthy elimination system.

The collagen that I use comes from Further Food: grass-fed and sustainably-sourced. Further Food gives a portion of its proceeds to chronic-illness and healthy-eating non-profits too (awesome). If you want to try collagen, you can use code RAE10 for a discount on your purchase.

If you're curious about other research regarding collagen, Google is your BFF, and so are the holistic, medicinal, paleo-friendly, organic-seeking, inspired professionals and individuals that write about things of the sort!


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